By Sean Barron
Mahoning County commissioners have appointed a full-time director of the Office of Management and Budget.
Effective July 29, Audrey C. Tillis will begin as OMB’s fiscal director with an annual salary of $71,500, noted Rachel Livengood, the county’s human- resources director.
Since 2007, Tillis, who has about 20 years of experience in finance, has been director of budget and financial management for the Portage County Board of Commissioners.
She also served about one year with the Mahoning County Auditor’s office.
Other related positions Tillis has had include budget analyst and internal auditor for Kent State University, where in 2000, she earned a master’s degree in public administration.
In addition, Tillis served two years as an auditor for the financial firm Arthur Andersen & Co. in Cleveland.
Her appointment comes more than a year after the commissioners did not extend the contract of George J. Tablack as OMB director.
Tablack is being offered a $180,000 job as chief financial officer of Jefferson County, Ala., which contains the city of Birmingham.
Also at the meeting Thursday, commissioners were urged to support 17 proposed Youngstown charter amendments that city council can place on the Nov. 6 general-election ballot.
Terry Esarco of Youngstown, who was part of an 11-member charter-review committee that began a citywide petition drive about two months ago, told commissioners the recommendations are vital to give residents a greater voice in city government.
Earlier this week, the Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber urged city council to give voters a chance to consider all the changes.
They include reducing council members’ salaries, eliminating council president as an elected position, holding nonpartisan elections and having council members be on their spouses’ health-care plans instead of the city’s, Esarco said, noting that at least 2,500 valid signatures will be needed.
Esarco, however, was unable to say how many have been collected so far.
The effort also calls for changing the law and finance directors, police and fire chiefs and other department head posts from appointed to elected positions, he continued.
“I have no vendetta against [police Chief Rod] Foley,” Esarco said. “I just want to give voice back to the people.”